Red Rocks, Double Tender, and Album Reviews
It is possible that you can experience events in life that you can never fully comprehend or mentally, emotionally, and physically digest. I would say that I’d never be able to understand the magnitude of playing your first show at Red Rocks and it being sold out. The venue itself is enough of a spectacle without adding the musical experience of performing. It seems like a dream now. The whole night seems so surreal. The only part of the night I can really remember was the song that we sang for our buddy Lance who passed away. It was very in the moment at that time. Getting emotionally stirred up by music in front of 10,000 people at Red Rocks is a insane feeling. Got bless Lance Tilton.
I get the emotionally stirred side of me from my Pops. We in the band call it “tender”. Everyone in the band is a “tender” fellow expect Jimmy. Jimmy is stone cold. Here’s a good story: So my pops and I were on the Sailing Southern Ground cruise. He was telling me how awesome Joey and Rory’s performance was. He said he liked to have cried twice while watching their show. Which really means he did tear up, he just didn’t full out wail like a baby. So he’s telling me about how he almost got tender while Rory was talking about this song he wrote for these soldiers who were in the Civil War. My dad was explaining how Rory got a chance to read some war letters from the soldiers to their wives. The soldiers were out numbered, starving, and could hear death knocking. They were writing their wives to tell them how much they cared about them if they passed away in the next few days. I’m laying on my back, on the bed with my eyes closed listening to my Pops tell this story. Well about mid-sentence he stops. I wait for a second and with my eyes close I say, “And?” He didn’t say anything so I peaked over at him and he was trying to hold the tender in and not get choked up. I started laughing and he did too. I said you can’t get tender telling a story about how you almost got tender. That’s double tender. You can’t do double tender. It still makes me laugh when I think about ol softy. But with that said my dad will wrestle a bear and spit in the face of danger and he will whoop your Dad’s ass. Remember saying that when you were a kid? I think every kid says that. I remember saying it, and had never heard it before. I just straight was willing to bet that my Dad could whoop anybody’s ass. It could have been the biggest guy ever, Andre the Giant style, and I would have put my Dad in the ring with them. Good thing it doesn’t work like that. Because I’m sure my kid would do the same thing. I’d hate to have to fight whomever my kid thought I could beat up. My kid would say, “I seen my daddy get his ass whooped a bunch.” OK, enough about fighting dads.
The album is finally out. I got a chance to go purchase it at Target on the release date. What a weird feeling that was. It looked great on the shelf, I must say. It looked clean. I spent most of that day and the following reading reviews of the album online while traveling in and around Boulder. I’ve personally never been a part of anything this big so it’s all kind if new to me
Some of the big city newspapers tore it a new one, which is expected in my opinion. Sometimes writers get paid to be writers just because they have the nuts to be controversial and opinionated and can find some slick “can’t touch this” way to say that you’re just another mediocre attempt at artistry. I assume for some reason that most of those writers probably don’t really like much of anything and are pissed off people in general. Yet they probably like music that will never have mass appeal because to them that’s what makes good music. The fact that they and a select group of people get the music is what makes them cool or what not. I could be completely wrong. They could be the coolest people ever. They could secretly hang out with the king of rock, the real Elvis, and never tell anyone. They could be best friends with Bob Dylan and Lou Reed. They could have been around the Ramones when they were trying to come up with band names and just casually mentioned that Joey’s last name would be cool for the title. I could literally come up with reasons why overly critical writers could be cool for days.
In the end they would probably love to argue why cool is cool. They would be like those kids when you were little who would always one up you. You’d be on the playground and you would say “oh yeah well your heads big” and they would come back with “oh yeah your mom cheats on your dad with the mailman”. You would instantly have a look of defeat on your face and you say to yourself 1)we are both third graders so how do you even know what marital sanctity is 2) how would you know that the mail man is a stereo typical option for such unholiness 3) how did you know that your mom cheats on your dad with the mail man would be a royal flush nuclear weapon of comebacks and trump my “your head is big” comment and shoot straight to my eight year old heart and make me get tender in front of these other seven kids. Disclaimer: My Mom is perfect and would never do such things. She is right under Mother Teresa and just above Claire Huxtable on the best women’s list. I’m not hating though. You can write and or listen to whatever you want. I think that having an opinion is rather stellar actually. I don’t think that most of those overly critical writers listened to the album to tell you the truth. They were very opinionated about certain go-to topics and not about the album as a whole. Which would generally mean they didn’t listen to the entire thing they just skimmed over it and made a judgment.
I think that being a music critic would be hard. I listen to a lot of different types of music. But I still think having an open opinion about a band or style of music that I don’t particular like to listen to would be hard. Take for example rap or popular dance music. I don’t listen to either really. I like some dance and rap music. But my choice is very specific why I like it. I like smart and inventive rap and I like catchy dance music. So to me any rap artist rapping about cars or women or money would just be and instant “you suck” write-up for me. But there’s a lot of that going on right now. It’s the working people who are buying it. I’m not sure why. I was about to say that I don’t focus my life on cars, women, or money but it hit me that I actually focus on those things a lot. Not really money but definitely women and cars. I’m single and I love cars. What what!!! But my rap song would be about the smell of the interior and engine, and the way the steering wheel felt in my hands while driving; or the way the exhaust sounded when the four barrel opened up. My songs about women would be, “damn she looks good in those jeans,” or how her lips look like Liv Tylers and I like that sooo much. I guess that’s why I’m not a rapper or a music critic. It’s hard to critique art anyway. It’s all a matter of personal taste. That’s the beauty of art and at the end of the day, and why reviews, good or bad, don’t really matter at all. I’m gonna take the Pepsi challenge though. Next week I’m going to buy two albums off the new releases list and I’m going to listen to the whole album and I’m going to write reviews. I’ll stay in the five to six paragraph length and afterward describe why I wrote what I wrote and what I found to be difficult or interesting about writing a music review. I’ve never tried to write a music review before. Stay tuned and wish me luck.